The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Afghanistan said in a new report that thousands of undocumented Afghans have returned home from Iran in the past week.
A total of 13,689 undocumented Afghans spontaneously returned or were deported from Iran through the Milak (Nimroz) and Herat (Islam Qala) border crossings between 01-07 July 2018 – nine percent more than in the previous week, the IOM said.
However, in the temporary absence of IOM, due to funding constraints, and in line with the "ONE UN" initiative, partner organizations WFP, UNICEF, WHO, DRC, and the WASH Cluster have agreed to step up and support returning Afghans using IOM facilities; thus, demonstrating a well-functioning and well-coordinated returnee response at all border crossings with Iran and Pakistan.
On Monday, IOM held a donor roundtable in Kabul presenting its funding requirements for the remainder of this financial year with the participation of senior government officials and 19 Embassies.
In order to ensure core cross border return assistance operations, continue and specific returnee vulnerabilities are addressed, IOM is seeking $6.3 million in new funding across eight programmatic areas including but not limited to post-arrival, cash-based assistance, and protection.
In a statement issued by the organization, IOM said it was also pleased to announce that with the approval from the government of Japan, a budget reallocation means that cross border operations will resume during the week of July 15 for the rest of the month.
This brings the total number of undocumented returnees from Iran since January 1 this year to 370,575.
Meanwhile, partner organizations have agreed to step up and support returning Afghans using IOM facilities until IOM's funding constraints have been resolved.